period and report these assessments to Congress. 5
A key to ongoing laboratory success has been a strong focus on the long term and on maintaining deep technical capability. Under the new management structure of the laboratories, industrial and other private sector partners can help assure that this long-term focus is maintained.
Recommendation 5.1. The study committee recommends that the NNSA, Congress, and top management of the laboratories recognize that safety and security systems at the Laboratories have been strengthened to the point where they no longer need special attention. NNSA and laboratory management should explore ways by which the administrative, safety, and security costs can be reduced, so that they not impose an excessive burden on essential S&E activities.
Recommendation 5.2. The study committee recommends that NNSA reduce reporting and administrative burdens on the laboratory directors, and purposely free directors to establish strategic science and engineering direction at the laboratories.
Among other benefits, this may encourage laboratory directors to serve longer terms with the organization.
5 The committee observes that it is important to design this approach to be self-correcting and to avoid problems such as: (1) adding to a check-list approach to management; (2) enforcing measures that annual assessment shows to be unworkable; and (3) requiring congressional intervention when not needed.